Last year, a trend called "skip-care" started growing in Korea (A.K.A. the land of the maximalist 10-step skincare routine). Its concept is to remove a few steps from your regimen by using multi-tasking products—such as toner-essences, oil-moisturizers, etc.—to create a more minimalist routine. Fast forward to the present, and we now have tons of beauty editors and skincare enthusiasts picking up the habit and downsizing their regimens as if they're going on a diet—a "skincare diet," that is. Ahead, we break down the basics of, well, going back to basics in terms of your face routine.
What is a "skincare diet"?
A "skincare diet" is almost the same as skip-care, but its main goal is to transform your skincare routine to its most minimal state. Allure calls it the "Anti-10-Step Routine," which focuses on streamlining one's regimen to two or three steps. From 10 steps, for example, you'd reduce it to just cleanser and moisturizer. It's meant to give you and your skin a break from products it might not necessarily need.
Why should you try it?
From a derm's standpoint, everyone's mileage with skincare varies, especially with a lengthy routine. "More steps and products may not necessarily bring you the best results," Dr. Raissa Francisco-Pasion of SKIN Dermatology and Laser Center explains. "While I have seen patients who have plump skin from using the Korean 10-step method, there are also patients who have adverse reactions to the numerous products applied."
Hence, there must be a reason people are starting to skip their beloved essences and ampoules to commit to this "diet." If you think you need to jump on the bandwagon, too, ahead is our derm-approved guide.
Why should we try to simplify our skincare routine?
Now, you might be wondering—how can a minimal skincare routine help your skin, when a lengthy one is popular for giving that "glow"? Well, aside from saving you time and a few bucks on products, Dr. Raissa says that a simplified regimen is much easier to stick to on a daily basis, so you're more likely to be consistent with your skincare and maintain results in the long run.
She adds, "The key is to not just simplify your routine but to actually use a few effective products that are backed with a lot of scientific research (such as sunscreen, retinoids, antioxidants, and prescription acne medicines) that will yield results on your skin." That's why it's even more crucial to use products that are tailored to address your skin’s specific needs.
When should someone go on a "skincare diet"?
Practically anyone can go on a skincare diet if they wish, but the dermatologist cites three situations that could desperately call for a routine detox:
1. When your skin is irritated, itchy, sensitive, or red from using too many products.
2. When you used to have good skin but have recently been developing whiteheads, blackheads, or inflammatory acne from the use of multiple skincare products.
3. When you have been following the Korean 10-step method but have not seen results on your skin.
Apart from these, you can also analyze the current state of your skin. The derm says, "Ask yourself the following questions: Are you seeing the results you want? Is your skin reacting positively or negatively to all the products you are using?" From there, you're most likely to reach a decision. If you're planning on making a dramatic change, however, discuss your insights with your dermatologist beforehand!
What skincare steps should one keep when going on a "skincare diet"?
While we're all free to add and remove steps as we see fit, we asked Dr. Raissa if there are any non-negotiables that will help this "diet" work. Sure enough, she mentioned only three. "Essential steps to keep are cleansing with a mild cleanser, a moisturizer that matches your skin type, and daily sunscreen application," says the doctor.
Looking to minimize your routine? Keep scrolling for skincare diet-friendly picks!
MAKE P:REM Safe Me. Relief Moisture Cleansing Foam, P920, Freyja, Glorietta 2; CETAPHIL Gentle Skin Cleanser, P444, Watsons
HUXLEY Cream ; Anti-Gravity, P1650, Freyja, Glorietta 2; CLINIQUE iD: Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly + Active Cartridge Concentrate for Delicate Skin, P2650, Lazada
MAKE P:REM UV Defense Me. Blue Ray Sun Gel, P1260, Freyja, Glorietta 2; KIEHL'S Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Aqua Gel SPF50 PA++++, P2100 for 30ml, Greenbelt 5